Azerbaijan Interviews: Firuza Harsanova

From a collection of Azerbaijan Interviews, April 1999 MSF Firuza Harsanova Health Education Specialist (Health Education Program - Sumgayt)
  • Been working with MSF-B since 1996
  • Nationality: Azeri Can you tell me a little bit about MSF's program to train students to be health education trainers? We started teaching children about health education. We were also working among the adults, training keypersons to be health educators. Then I thought it will produce a good result if the students will learn about the issues and how to teach them, and then will teach the younger children. The children from the other classes - 9th to 11tth - they learnt the topics themselves, then went through a course on "Train the trainer" and have begun to teach the youngest children. And this has so far given very good results. What is the difference between an adult teaching children or children teaching their peers? The children understand better if other children teach them. They have their own attitudes, their own language_they understand better than when adults come and teach them. When you started training these children to be trainers, did you have any difficulties? We had some difficulties. They didn't know about teaching methods, but I gave them examples of how to teach and they learnt how to prepare lessons. When you are sitting in the health education classes taught by children, and you listen to the response of the children, what are the comments they make? They observe the presentation that was made and they evaluate it. They say what mistakes their friends made. For example, a trainer used only speech and not other methods of teaching such as demonstrations, their teaching seems like a lecture. The children can use demonstration methods and some of them are so afraid about whether these will be good or not. Many haven't done presentations before. Some children are going to be the teachers in future so it is great experience for them. They must gain a lot of confidence when they do successful training? Yes. During our lessons they understand the importance of the health education. If they will learn the courses, it is useful not only for them. Even if one child gives passes on the information to three other children - it's good. They are in the community, they are with their neighbors, so if one child has diarrohoea, they can give a recommendation on how to stop the diarrohoea, how to treat the child at home. The children say they give the information from the classes to their parents all the time, and each time the parents are very interested. They also pass on the information to their neighbors, even to the teachers in the school, and every time the neighbours and teachers are very interested.